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tv   Nightline  ABC  September 19, 2012 11:35pm-12:00am EDT

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. tonight on "nightline." the stalker. she took the stand in a murder trial only to be cross examination examined by the man who stalked her. the same man now accused of killing her roommate. tonight a story of dangerous obsession and courtroom confrontation. outbreak, a virus spreads over 38 states and ends 130 lives. how a tiny mosquito bite turns to a deadly illness overnight. and off the hook. the weapons, a pitch fork,
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helmets and waterskis. the enemy, giant flying carp. we'll meet professional fish fighters who leave the rod and wheel at home. good evening. i'm bill weir. tonight a murder mystery full of outrageous twists. when one woman took the stand to testify in court she found herself being questioned by her own stalker. the same man on trial for killing her roommate and attacking her roommate's 5-year-old son. it's a strange tale that unfolded over 17 years and came to a dramatic head in court today. steve osunsami brings us the latest. >> reporter: he may be dressed the part of a lawyer in suit and tie and legal briefs but he's
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the accused murder and convicted stalker, representing himself as the law allows and questioning the alleged victims in court. >> in 17 years you have never told anyone -- >> yes, i have. >> when? >> a few days after you murdered carmen. >> reporter: at times the exchange is painful. the woman he stalked for years so sre she asked for her face to be kept from cameras. >> the question is inappropriate. >> it's hard for me to answer your questions. after you stalked me. >> reporter: police suspected he broke into this lower level apartment, strangled carmen smith and stand her son 18 times. miraculously he survived. police leave it was revenge against her roommate another mother who lived upstairs and
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helped send him to jail for stalking her. he ended up serving ten years. >> if i had known it would have led to this. i would have done things. >> reporter: it was just before halloween. after murdering carmen smith he waited all day for her son to walk through the sliding doors. >> i got home from school. my mom's car was in the driveway. i thought she was home, and i -- i went down stairs and she wasn't there. >> reporter: nicholas smith is now a 22-year-old man. and this was his mother's birthday when he would finally sit face-to-face with the man accused of murdering his mom. >> the person in the room grabbed me and started stabbing me a bunch. i tried to yell and he covered my mouth and then kept stabbing me, and then i got up and fainted. >> reporter: it took police years to arrest daker but
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investigators say thanks to new dna tests they were able to connect hairs found on carmen smith's body to ker. he was still obsessed with the roommate, telling jurors they were an on again off again couple. she wfurious -- >> if i would know this turned into murder. if i had known i would take notes. i spent my entire life trying to erase everything and you want me to remember it all in a matter of days worth of trial. >> reporter: before convicting her there were voice mails where she worried he was unstable. >> you frighten me and i don't appreciate it. maybe you're scared -- that you know you know you're lying cause -- >> reporter: for nicholas smith,
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this was the man he believes left him with so many physical and emotional scars? >> you're telling me in 1995 -- >> no, i was in the hospital and had gotten repeatedly by you, so i don't think that was a very good time to be asking a 5-year-old questions like that. >> this is either a revictimization of the victim or potentially a cathartic healing experience. >> reporter: b.j. bernstein is a lawyer closely following this trial. >> there is something powerful about a victim being able to stand up and say, you do it. >> what's really empowering for someone is to look that person to eye and know that they, in a safe place, to be able to say, you know, you killed my mother, you stabbed me. these things happened to me.
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>> reporter: court officials aren't taking any chances forcing him to keep his distance away from the alleged victims. marking the spot on the floor. no matter how awful the crime. the accused can represent themselves as trial. >> even though he's acting as his own lawyer he can still sit in the witness and testify on his own behalf. >> amazing story. coming up an infection spreading across most of the country. at least 130 dead. thanks to the tiny mosquitos. we're inside the outbreak of west nile virus next. you like who you are... an] and you learned something along the way. this is the age of knowing what you're made of. so, why let erectile dysfunction get in your way? talk to your doctor about viagra. 20 million men already have.
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as if you need another reason to loath the mosquito, this year a deadly outbreak of the west nile virus infected people in nearly every state in this country. a virus spread by the blood-sucking pest. in dallas the infections so rapid the city declared a state of emergency. dr. richard besser brings us to the center of the outbreak. >> reporter: even this infectious disease expert can't explain what west nile virus is doing to the brain? >> when you came to the hospital how much do you remember? >> zero. >> reporter: as he walks these halls, he had few answers for the west nile patients still fighting. >> i'm well known for being a straight talker. >> i don't know if i'll make it. >> you can see the white spots.
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>> reporter: this is a brain destroyed by west nile. >> changes that go along with brain damage. >> reporter: even the doctor can't explain the white areas, all he knows is the body count is rising. >> go, dad. >> reporter: this is joe. days later he thought he had the flu. then it hit. now he needs help getting in and out of bed. . my biggest thing it's between the fever. i get fever and chills really bad. all your joints hurt. >> you see somebody like that who can't even touch his nose with his finger. that's pretty scary. >> reporter: west nile first arrived from africa more than a decade ago. now birds and mosquitos have spread it across the entire country. no vaccine and no secure. >> the epicenter of the outbreak now is here in north texas.
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>> reporter: if there's any hope of stopping it. it's here. ft. collins, colorado, the cdc's disease bourne laboratory. >> we're primarily interested in female mosquito, they feed on the blood. you see there's a white band? >> these are bad girls. >> reporter: we're trying to find out what pesticides kill mosquitos. >> how long will it take to kill these? >> about 15 minutes. >> reporter: we see how pest sized are fine-tuned down to specific neighborhoods. >> in the same city they may need different pesticides. >> they are well adraapted to survival. >> keep your eye on the bottle. >> five minutes later they're on the bottom. >> reporter: it works in the
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lab -- you had 5,000 trapped -- >> in one evening, yeah. >> reporter: that's before they spread. if the formula works -- a few little bugs but nothing that looks like a mosquito. >> reporter: this is not without controversy. especially in dallas where spraying lead to complaints. >> the amount of pesticide is less than an ounce percent acre. it's minuscule. we've found no respiratory illness. >> reporter: it's a fight that's personal for lyle petersen. >> what's the story on this? >> no repel lent makes virus guru -- >> i went out and both my friend and i got west nile virus. a healthy, middle-aged guy gets an illness? >> yeah, i'm a long distance
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runner. i run marathons, i could barely walk up the steps. >> reporter: back in dallas joey has been in bed for five days. >> are you ready to stand up? >> he's been in the vulnerable state. it's really hard. >> reporter: the nights are the worst. >> it's 12:30. he seems to be resting a little more. he still has a headache. >> good morning, good morning, everythi everybody. >> the next morning joey is stronger. not quite ready for the trampoline but he's ready to go home. >> we're going home. >> reporter: but for some of the other patients the road back will be much longer. >> we're unable to explain why some get better and others do not. >> reporter: only 1 in 150 get this sick but this year it's 1600 people. >> what's the chance we could
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knock out west nile from the u.s. >> there's a 0% chance we can knock out west nile. it's here to stay. in the early fall and late summer they're at risk. >> reporter: i'm dr. richard from ft. collins colorado. >> thanks, doc. best wishes to joe and others. up next warriors on water skies. the pitch fork wielding buddies showing there are new ways to catch a fish. that's good. call in the engineers. call in the car guys. call in the nerds. build a prototype. mold it. shape it. love it. give it a starting price under 16 grand. take it to the track. tweak. tweak. tweak. stop. take it to the car shows. call the critics. call the marketing team. get a celebrity endorser. he's perfect. i am? [ male announcer ] yes, you are. making a groundbreaking car -- it's that easy. ♪
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but it isn't always easy to find one... anncr: a good job. it's the key my nto a good life.rapp, a vote for question seven is a vote for maryland jobs. two thousand construction jobs to build a new resort casino. four thousand permanent jobs, paying... on average fifty five thousand a year. six thousand jobs from increased tourism... and table games like blackjack and poker. add it up: it's twelve thousand new maryland jobs. but to build it you have to vote for it. vote for question seven. and get maryland back to work.
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well, some fisherman opt for a split bamboo tie rod and hand-tied woolly warm. others try a stick of dynamite. others have a strain and aggressive strain of carp involving a pitch fork and waterskis. alex perez went along for the hunt. >> flying fish tore spepedo. a pitch fork is all he has to fight back. his target. asian carp greedy, hungry, fish threatening to invade the great lakes. >> it's a accomplish going 30 miles an hour. >> you may have seen him anchors
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down in the ring but the pro wrestler has a new challenge. from florida to california adrift in the world of extreme fishing. i took the bait and met up with eric on the banks of the illinois river. >> what have you learned about fishing as you go along? >> it's american ingenuity. it's about meeting interesting people, tenacious, hard working. they found dangerous, extreme ways of catching fish. >> an national planet's "off the hook extreme catches" follows eric as he finds way to get them on the hook. from using paddle boards, to extreme fishing. and the asian carp imported in the '70s to clean their ponds.
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>> this whole area they call it carp ground zero. >> now the fish that can't be stopped. >> they spawn three types a year. have known to be 100 bounds. >> reporter: to help eric and me navigate the waters -- >> unleash the carp catcher. the video with waterskis, and homemade armour at putted them to fish fighting fame. now it's time for me to join the battle. >> it's like we're going war. >> your net? >> trick of the trade. >> what's your strategy. >> once you hook that fish, slam them into the garbage can. >> boom, boom.
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wish me luck. >> you'll see them start jumping in front of the boat and be ready. >> within seconds the sound of the boat's motor makes the carp crazy. >> here, fishy, fishy, fishy. here they come. >> reporter: just as we're on a roll and carp-catching confidence is sliclimbing -- >> we get smacked back into reality. . that didn't hurt as much as i expected. >> reporter: one more battle in the bag until the next exdecision. >> nice. you're a natural. >> i'm alex perez on the illinois river. >> he's crazy. thanks, alex, "extreme catch" airs sunday on "animal planet." thanks for watching abc news. check in "good morning america."
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